This has nothing whatever to do with the rise of so-called Obamacare, as the condition was present before O-care and persists still.
Maybe this isn’t the case in your locale, but I can tell you that in and around the urban amoeba known as Houston, simply being able to obtain an appointment with a medical doctor requires herculean effort if not divine intervention.
We adore our family physician, and a couple of years ago when our kids’ pediatrician retired, we were pleased that she was willing to bring them in as regular patients.
It hasn’t gone so well since then. Apparently her practice has taken on several hundred new patients besides our kids. It’s become impossible to find an open spot for an appointment for the entire coming week. If it’s a near-emergency (as opposed to an emergency-room emergency), the appointment person relays a message to our doctor’s assistant-nurse, who is supposed to call back to let us know if we can squeeze into a slot. But the nurse never calls until the next day.
That’s pretty unacceptable, and not the way things used to be a few years ago. As a result, we’ve been forced on several occasions to make use of the doc-in-a-box CVS keeps on staff at one of their stores a few miles away. The inability to be able to get in to see our regular doctor caused me to go to Walgreens to get flu shots for myself and my kids last year, with horrible results.
On those occasions when a family member is able to actually book an appointment with our family doctor, that person has to wait what I consider an outlandish length of time – usually two hours or more beyond the time the appointment was made.
Thus, even though we adore our family doctor, we are on the lookout for someone else, for the reasons listed above. Unfortunately, so far no one locally whose opinion I trust has a better family doctor situation than we do.
In other words, apparently the entire Houston area is plagued by such a lack of qualified primary care physicians that you can’t get in to see one without sacrificing pretty much half of a work day, or more, and having to schedule that sacrifice 10 days in advance.
So increasingly, we’re all at the mercy of the anonymous dox in boxes. And that’s just those of us who possess actual medical insurance.
Is this the way it works where you live?
When I gaze into my crystal ball, I think I see the rise of the neighborhood healer.